Freddy Beans here with a review of SLEEP NO MORE, a little horror flick available on VOD, Digital, and DVD, October 2nd.
That trailer is exactly the movie you’ll end up watching. I love horror movies and wade through them willingly to find the gold. SLEEP NO MORE is more like silver-plated steel.
The synopsis follows five graduate students, at St. Martin’s University in 1986, who are conducting a study on sleep deprivation. To be exact, they are researching the ridiculous idea that if you can stay up for 200 hours straight, you will no longer need to sleep again. There’s at least a million ‘tweakers that would laugh at such a notion. It’s silly and an idea they try to make as plausible as possible here to the film’s detriment.
So when a break from classes happen, the five grad students convince one another to stay back and continue the just canceled sleep experiments when no one is around. They get two weeks free, plenty of time to hit the 200 hour mark with the perfect guinea pigs at the ready, in each other, what could go wrong?
The grads start injecting Cognifen into one another, under the attentive eye of Dr. Whatley, (Yasmine Aker) to keep them attentive and soon we have the stuff horror movies are made of. You already know the death count. (6 at most, don’t forget the good doctor) The set-up works and besides some shoddy ass CGI in the beginning I think they pull this one off. The acting surprised me, meaning each actor pulls off varied scenes of emotional distress. Joe (Keli Price) is the leader of the pack and secretly boning Dr. Whatley whenever he can. Dale (Stephen Ellis) is the comedy relief, with Frannie (Brea Grant) playing the ‘not your average girl.’ Aaron (James Hoare) and Carter (Lukas Gage) round out the grad students way too interested in losing sleep.
The cinematography was mediocre. The film also relies on a lot of jump scares to keep the idea running a full 1h 31 min. The concept is quite simply just ludicrous and hard to get around. I’d rather they just tried to hit 200 hours because it broke a Guinness World Record honestly.
And because of that thought, I now know Randy Gardner holds the record for the longest anyone has gone without sleep in 1964 hitting 264.4 hours. Why would you ever want to reach this record Randy? I digress…
Back to the main bad guy here, it’s a smoke monster thing that has to be seen to be believed. It shows up in obviously low level CGI early in the movie but later seems to have solidified its concept by the end of the film looking, dare I say, effective. It actually looks pretty fucking creepy in those last scenes truthfully. I won’t do it justice, but think of a burnt faced open mouthed bass cloaked in a brown mummy style smoke screen. That’s the mutual entity the students start seeing and drawing when asked to quantify what was scaring the bejesus out them as they went without sleep.
So they continue their experiment hitting 84 hours to the tune of Hungry Like a Wolf.(Duran Duran) 95 soon after. At 129 hours some bad shit happens and then 174 everything goes bug fucking nuts.
This is like FLATLINERS and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM
WARRIORS were mixed into one film centered on that total bullshit Russian Sleep Experiment in the 1940’s. Which I was totally disappointed to find out wasn’t true, because that’s some truly terrifying shit.
SLEEP NO MORE was written by Jason Murphy.
Phillip Guzman (Dead Awake) directs this competent yet unremarkable horror film. This is a perfect date night flick where you can miss scenes and miss little of value.
6 out of 10 scientists believe 4 scientists are liars
Til next time, Kids!
- Freddy Beans